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Lorna Pitcher, founder of Children of Hope Uganda, visits the Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre in October, 2013.
Lorna Pitcher, founder of Children of Hope Uganda, visits the Barlonyo Early Childhood Development Centre in October, 2013.

GIVING BACK

Teacher of global citizenship helps Ugandan orphans Add to ...

The Donor: Lorna Pitcher

The gift: Founding Children of Hope Uganda

The reason: To help children in war-torn parts of Uganda

Laura Pitcher spent years teaching development issues at a Toronto high school when she finally decided to head to Africa in 2007 to help build a school in Uganda.

“I’d been teaching global citizenship for years, and I thought I’d put my money where my mouth was,” Ms. Pitcher said from her home in Toronto.

While in Uganda, Ms. Pitcher met a local teacher named Esther Atoo, who was running an orphanage and school for 43 children who had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and civil war.

Ms. Pitcher was struck by the poverty and need, and vowed to do whatever she could once she returned to Canada.

“I just promised them I would try to get them some help,” she said.

Back in Toronto, she began raising money for the orphanage and later founded Children of Hope Uganda in 2007.

She and a group of volunteers have since raised about $1-million for the organization, which is currently helping to educate more than 200 students through a variety of programs. That includes putting 16 girls through university.

Ms. Pitcher has since retired from teaching at Sterling Hall School and now spends most of her time on the organization. “It’s the most rewarding thing,” she said. “Can you imagine being able to help all of these kids?”

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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